The movement against plastic shopping bags gained a lot of momentum today after the Los Angeles City Council voted 13-1 to phase out the use of plastic shopping bags at supermarkets.
This decision makes L.A. the largest city to issue a ban on the bags. According to the L.A. Times, it will impact around 7,500 stores.
Following a four-month environmental review, larger stores will then have six months to get rid of their stock of the bags, while smaller stores will be given a year.
While the City Council did not pass a proposed ban on paper shopping bags, this new law will eventually require retailers to charge $.10/bag for paper bags given to customers. Those in favor of the paper bag ban hope that the fee will curb the use of paper bags enough so that a ban is not needed down the road.
In 2010, some state legislators had hoped to push through a statewide ban on plastic bags, which some say are an environmental nuisance that litter shorelines and streets. San Francisco and a handful of other municipalities have enacted their own bans on plastic bags in the absence of a state initiative.
“Let’s get the message to Sacramento that it’s time to go statewide,” said Councilman Ed Reyes about L.A.’s measure.
Hawaii recently became the first state to go plastic-bag free. However, it was not through a statewide law but by each of Hawaii’s counties enacting their own bans.
Ban on plastic bags at L.A. markets is approved [L.A. Times]